Published On: Mon, Dec 3rd, 2018

Open letter to Ministers of Justice of St. Maarten and Curaçao, Cornelius de Weever and Quincy Girigorie

Dear Minister De Weever,

We are writing this letter to thank you for giving us a chance to rehabilitate and to help us with our job here in Curaçao, at the same time.

Some of us were lucky enough to try and gain from the situation we were placed in. But the blame and heat goes to the Director of Sint Maarten who lied to us inmates about the relocations where we will be gong.

We will be the first to say that in the beginning it was very hard, because some inmates never spoke the language Papiamentu, but we were mostly angry because the Director lied to us about where we were going to.

We can talk all about ourselves in which this situation turned beneficial as an inmate, or shall we say as a person. We started to learn three new languages: Spanish, Papiamentu and Dutch. When we had no lessons we asked the SDKK Activity Department to help us and they did happily knowing that we were from Sint Maarten. We showed interest and we learned what we didn’t know first when we came here.

When the first six months expired, we assumed we were going back, we the inmates were prepared to go back. But then the Director of the Pointe Blanche prison extended the time longer without contacting inmates’ family or the inmates themselves. We can say that we called the prison of Sint Maarten a lot of different times to speak with the Director, but every time they were too busy to talk. The only persons that could have tried to help us inmates and calm our minds were the social workers, Mrs. Gumbs and Mrs. Lake. No other people from the Sint Maarten prison with the means to help us.

We consent to stay in Curaçao until the prison is fixed, because that’s why they sent us to here in the first place.

After the hurricane Sint Maarten had no form of resocialization, no school lessons, no bible classes, nothing. We are now a year here in Curaçao and the SDKK prison (Sentro di Detenshon I Korekshon Kòrsou) and they provided us, on your and Minister Girigorie’s request, with jobs to help ourselves. And now some of us have a choice to go to school and learn Spanish, Dutch and Papiamentu.

Again we, the inmates of Sint Maarten, residence in prison SDKK in Curaçao, thank the SDKK staff and the whole Management Team of SDKK, but most of all Mr. Urni Floran (director, for putting his shoulder under this), Mrs. Malvina Cecilia (Head Unit Corrections, who didn’t hesitate to make this happen), Mrs. Sheila Celestina and Mr. Etienne Martis (members of the sewing department where we are located, who helped teaching us everything with care and professionalism), and most of all Mr. Carlos Gomez (sewing master from the Pointe Blanche prison, relocated in Curaçao for this special project, who is the undiscussable ongoing teacher we ever knew) for giving us the chance to work, learn and most of all for believing in us and giving us a chance in SDKK in Curaçao. Thank you people of Curaçao.

Inmates of St. Maarten in Curaçao.

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